Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kemono no Souja Erin 02

Erin discovers a poisonous weed growing in their village and instigates a village-wide uprooting operation. Meanwhile, an extremely weak touda is brought to Akemura for treatment.
EPISODE 02: Soyon the Healer
More Screencaps from Kemono no Souja Erin 02

Erin is relaxing on the meadows when a goat suddenly comes around and startles her to the point that she falls rolling off the hill and lands unceremoniously on a pile of hay. Her friends, Shaju and Choku, come to her rescue and pull her out of there. A moment later, Erin notices some weeds growing on top of the hill. She later identifies them as yagigoroshi, which are poisonous to goats. With this discovery, Erin gets Choku to inform the villagers about the situation, and soon after, the women get to work pulling the weeds out.
Meanwhile, visitors arrive in the village in the form of Tailan, a touda rider from Tobiru Village, and his very sick touda. It seems that for several days now, his touda has refused to eat and has grown weak as a result. He wants the help of Akemura's renowned vet. However, there is apparently a rule that disallows touda from one village to be housed and healed by a vet of another village. Even so, it seems Tailan has a special permission from the Grand Duke, which he shows to Hasun, Akemura's Village Chief. At this, Hasun orders Wadan, the other vet in town, to call for Soyon, much to Wadan's disgruntlement.
Soyon arrives soon after and immediately gets to work examining the touda. Tailan, who is watching her, wonders the touda vet is a woman. Hasun then reveals that Soyon is originally from Kiri Village and, as she was supposed to become his daughter-in-law, he brought her to Akemura specifically because of her skills. At that moment, Soyon calls to them to say that she needs more time to observe the touda. Erin and Shuja later visit the touda and discover that it hasn't eaten a bite of the fresh goat meat given to it. Wadan then appears, carrying water from the trough. Upon seeing Erin, he makes a snide comment about their (Soyon and Erin) being Kiri Villagers and probably spies. Erin hotly defends her mother but before things could get worse, Shuja suggests that they leave. That evening, Erin comes upon her mother reading a book about vegetation, including poisonous plants. At this point, Erin again reveals how she wants to become a touda vet, prompting Soyon to talk to her about touda and how if she (Erin) is afraid of them, she won't be able to become a good vet.
The next day, Erin, Shuja and Shuja's elder sister are pulling out more yagigoroshi from the meadows, when they notice Tailan going off alone with a spear in hand. Erin decides to follow him and Shuja tags along. In the stream, they see Tailan expertly spear lots of fish. The three of them later sit around a fire and while waiting for the fish to cook, Tailan and Erin get friendly with each other. Just then, Choku arrives to tell them that Tailan's touda suddenly went wild. Soyon's diagnosis is yagigoroshi poisoning but she doesn't know how this could have happened. Tailan, Erin and Shuja, who is still holding the roasted fish, soon arrive, only to see the touda act wild once more, this turning on Shuja, Erin and Wadan. Soyon stops the attack by blowing on her special whistle, causing the touda to faint.
That evening, Soyon and Wadan report the incident to Hasun. Soyon takes all the blame, saying that the poisoning might be due to the special water she gave it. Apparently, weak toudas are unable to withstand strong dosages of the special water, but Soyon has failed to take this into account. Hasun warns her that should the touda die, he would have to punish her. Later, Soyon comes home to find Erin asleep on the hearth. As she is picking the girl up, she notices the book of plants nearby and realizes that Erin has been reading it. In the morning, Tailan finds Erin crawling under the bushes, looking for something. Later, she reveals her suspicion that the touda's poisoning might have been caused by yagigoroshi. Shuja and Choku then arrive and invite the two of them to go fishing. At this, Erin has an epiphany, realizing that the touda will eat fresh fish from the stream.
Later, she is proven right, but not before giving Soyon a fresh scare when she attempts to let the touda eat from her hands. This solves the puzzle about the touda not eating goat meat but does not answer the question on the poisoning. Erin then wonders if Wadan hasn't made another mistake, prompting Soyon to admonish her and remind her that Wadan is also a vet who knows what to do and what not to do. Erin then remembers how Wadan brought water to the touda and suspects that it might be the water. Sure enough, when they check the water source, they find several yagigoroshi flowers at the bottom. Once the source of the problem has been eliminated, the touda starts to get better until finally Tailan is able to leave. On the day he makes his farewell, neither Soyon nor Erin see him off as both are busy taking care of Kiba. There, Soyon once more asks Erin if she is afraid of touda and this time Erin answers with conviction that she is not afraid of them. Pleased with this answer, Soyon then says that although touda are beasts, they are living beings first.

Two groups are currently subbing this series -- KyouNoSubs and SS. Between the two, I like SS better but KyouNoSubs releases faster so I'm following them also. So anyway, I like this series, even though it's long and slow-paced. I'll probably get bored with it before it starts to get interesting but so far I am enjoying it and I like the characters.

Strange thing about this story: we are seeing the events from Erin's point of view but through a third person narrator. I say, nothing like a reliable narrator to get the story along. So I guess this is going to be a straightforward plot.

An important revelation this episode: Hasun is actually Erin's grandfather. Unless, I made a mistake but yeah, I'm pretty sure that when Erin said "grandpa" she is referring to Hasun, not only because of the thread of the conversation but also because of Hasun's earlier revelation that Soyon should have been his daughter-in-law. Then, I wonder where is Erin's father? My guess is he died in the war.